North East of England to become leading networked region

Geordies set to lead the wired way thanks to major investment

The North of England is to become a leading light in the wired world, the government has decided. The shock announcement paves the way for transforming the north-east into one of the most networked regions on the planet. No mean feat -– in this part of the world, PCs walk the beat, buses take you to work and servers are found in shops. But then, Tony Blair always did like a challenge. The prime minister has enlisted the help of Stephen Byers, trade and industry secretary, for the task. The Ying to London's Yang will be the subject of the new Electronic Region scheme over the next three years. This will try to build a sustainable virtual economy in the north-east based on new technology. Over three years the government will pump £24 million into the region, which until today has stood patiently at the back of the nation’s technology queue. Microsoft and BT will be involved, the Financial Times reported. Northern Informatics has claimed responsibility for developing the programme. The scheme involves a network in excess of 50 "electronic village halls" to give people free IT access and support. It will also unite schools, colleges and universities in a "virtual education network." Following the government's announcement, rumours began circulating in the industry that Microsoft was rising to the challenge by releasing a version of Windows 98 aimed specifically at the north east. The Geordie Windows 98 -- or Windiz 98 as it is known -- is basically no different from the regular UK English version, but there are some key linguistic changes. The Register has put together a guide to Windurze 98 (nant-eee-airt). The Recycle Bin is renamed 'Aal ya shite' Dialup Networking is now 'Wor mates' Control Panel is known as 'Hoo te muck aboot wa the settans' The Hard Drive is now called 'Big disk' Other changes include: OK becomes 'Alreet' Help is now 'Ah cannit dee it' Programs will be renamed 'Stuff that dis stuff' Stop is now 'Divvent move' ®

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